For some reason the Japanese have really taken food (and other) packaging to incredibly lofty levels. A visit to any major Tokyo department store’s food hall is always so incredibly awe-inspiring. So it didn’t surprise me at all when I spied a very eye-catching section of pork products for sale at the grocery and realized they were
imported from Japan raised in the Philippines to Japanese standards. The meat was incredibly pink-red, beautifully cut and nicely packaged. On closer inspection, the “Waton” brand pork claimed to be Japanese organically raised pork, and at PHP499.75 a kilo, was a bit pricey, but a small package, good for two people came out to PHP145 pesos, so I decided to buy some and see if they were worth the premium…
When I got home, I immediately took out a cast iron hot plate like those used for sizzling dishes at basement food courts, and laid it over a burner on the stovetop; I turned the flames under it about 10 minutes before I was ready to serve the meal. Next, I took the thinly sliced organic pork out of its package and marinated it in a bottle Japanese pre-mixed teriyaki sauce for about 20 minutes. I heated up a cast iron pan and added the slices of pork belly (very similar to a thick bacon cut) and cooked it for just 30-60 seconds on each side, just to sear it and brown it a bit. I transferred the pork onto the hot plate that was now very hot and brought it straight to the table to serve with steamed rice and a sauteed vegetable dish. The verdict? OMG, SO VERY, VERY GOOD. For something that you can do in less than 5 minutes (plus marinating time), this is incredibly delicious fast food. And at PHP75-90 per person, surprisingly economical for an organic, imported pork belly. If you are a pork fan, this is a tremendous way to get a fast fix for a modest cost. Yum.